Turkey says strained Ankara-Tel Aviv ties cannot recover unless Israel ends the ‘humanitarian tragedy’ in Gaza and moves toward peace in the Middle East.
“Ending the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, reviving peace efforts — both on the Palestinian and Syrian track, and most importantly — reinstating a prevailing spirit of peace in the region… this is what we want,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters.
“When there is a return to the track of peace, these relations of trust (with Israel) will be re-established on the same level as before,” AFP quoted Davutoglu as saying.
Relations between Turkey and Israel saw a sharp plummet last week, when Ankara excluded Tel Aviv from a NATO military exercise over what Turkey clarified as the wish of the Turkish people in protest at Israel’s onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
“As long as the human tragedy in Gaza continues, no one should expect us to be part of a military picture” with Israel, Davutoglu said.
The row further deepened on Thursday, with Israel summoning the Turkish envoy after a Turkish state television series, showing Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian children, sparked furor in Tel Aviv.
The Turkish foreign minister criticized Israel for ‘killing the peace perspective’ in the Middle East with its military action against the blockaded Gaza at the turn of the year.
“Although no single rocket has been fired on Israel from Gaza over the past eight months, children in Gaza have no schools to go to, people have no homes to take shelter in,” Davutoglu regretted.
The humanitarian situation in the coastal sliver should be improved in the shortest possible time, he urged.